Of course, gambling is not something restricted to apps about gambling. Sometimes, the best gambling opportunities are present in puzzle games, strategy games, and any other varieties of genres. One minute you can be buying random packs of digital cards in the collectible card game Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, another minute you can be buying keys for crates with random objects in the shooter video game Team Fortress 2. These games have very successful free-to-play models because entry into them is at no cost to the player, and they can play and enjoy the games without paying money, but there IS a distinct advantage to spending money. In Team Fortress 2, players find crates here and there for players to unlock with purchased keys; inside, they can find cosmetic objects like hats that allow their characters to stand out from the rest, or they can find weapons that have power, speed, unique designs, and sometimes all three of these things. While Valve works to make it that you will get something that suits your characters, players are not guaranteed to get the content that they want – as such, this encourages them to keep buying.

Other games have problems with this system – without naming names, some games out there have tried to reproduce this system with disastrous results. For instance, some shooters will reward players with random rewards, but the rewards are simply -too- random. Not only can the rewards be for a different character, you can get duplicates of rewards you’ve already gotten. As a result, the desire by players to keep trying for the rewards is drastically reduced.

Hearthstone takes this principle and runs way further. Anyone who knows about Magic: The Gathering or the Pok√©mon Trading Card Game (either because they are fans or because their kids are) can see why – every pack you buy, you’re sure, just sure, that this is the one. The one that has the one great card you want. And if it isn’t, the next one surely will be! I won’t deny that I didn’t fall a bit deep into that… but I cannot say that I regret it! Every purchase got me something at the very least, making it a thrill with every pack.